Officials say drug bust nets $250,000 worth of marijuana
by Kyle Dominy
July 21, 2011 12:11 AM | 5421 views | 9 9 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Narcotics officials say they found more 200 marijuana plants worth nearly $250,000 behind a residence in northern Cherokee County. One man has been arrested in connection to the plants, but authorities are looking for a second person. The marijuana was spotted by helicopters, officials say.<br>MDJ/Special
Narcotics officials say they found more 200 marijuana plants worth nearly $250,000 behind a residence in northern Cherokee County. One man has been arrested in connection to the plants, but authorities are looking for a second person. The marijuana was spotted by helicopters, officials say.
BALL GROUND — Local narcotic officials say they found more than 200 marijuana plants worth nearly $250,000 behind a residence in northern Cherokee County.

William Joseph “Jody” Gaddis, 47, of Ball Ground, was subsequently arrested, but authorities are still looking for a second person who they say is connected. Gaddis has been charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center. Bond has been set for $250,000.

Local authorities said the marijuana plants were spotted from a helicopter by the Governor’s Task Force for Drug Suppression, a 27-year-old statewide program that searches for outdoor marijuana grows.

Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Commander Phil Price said the patrol spotted the plants growing along a power line behind a residence on Sperin Road in northern Cherokee County.

“That is a common occurrence,” Price said. “The perception is if it is not on my land, it can’t be traced back to me. That is not true.”

Price said two people fled from the home while the helicopter was overhead.

“They are a dead give away,” he said. “They don’t use those helicopters like the ones used to kill Osama bin Laden.”

Authorities from Cherokee County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene.

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office K-9 officers canvassed the area while other officers searched the property, Price said.

Due to thick overgrowth in the area, officers could not trail the suspects, but he said Gaddis later returned to the scene and was taken into custody.

Gaddis was renting the property. The property owner has not been identified and Price said the owner had “no apparent connection to the case.”

According to a press release issued by the narcotic squad, agents found 172 growing marijuana plants and additional 30 harvested plants inside the residence.

“It was an apparent large-traffic operation,” Price said.

Officials said the total value of all the plants was $242,400.
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Craig (town native)
August 12, 2011
To Whiners,

Instead of being rude and sarcastic why don't you just state your case. You have a point. I agree that this is a huge waste of resources but I respect your opinion and will not belittle you because it differs from mine. You might find that people listen to your opinion more openly if you afforded the same respect. It is illegal and the officers are doing what they are supposed to do but that doesn't make it really make sense. I think its time marijuana is made legal and regulated. We could then work on the real crime and treat addiction as a medical problem. I am sure others disagee and have valid points as well. Lets just hear each other and maybe we can all learn from our fellow citizens' opinions.
August 03, 2011
Well, at least they aren't raiding stores that sell raw/natural/unpasterized milk yet.
August 03, 2011

I am so sick of our resources being used to fund combat equipped, half-cocked cowboy cops engaged in the "war on drugs". Why do I care if other people want to put harmful substances into their bodies? Answer: I don't. Just don't let the consequences of your personal behavior splash up on me.

July 29, 2011
Stupid police. Seeing a felony in progress and taking action. HOW DARE YOU! Fire them all immediately and hire KSUAlum to do the work.

Sounds like they WERE fighting "real crime". You are just angry the police didn't do the full blown CSI: Miami drill in your snotty neighborhood. Get away from the TV.

July 27, 2011
It's too bad the DEA and police can't crack down on these "synthetic" drugs which are far more dangerous, and happen to not be illegal yet. Parents need to be concerned about those.
lazy police work
July 23, 2011
I agree w/ KSUalum. We have an epidemic of cyber crime, identity theft, and various white collar crimes which account for far more distruction. The pot operations cost surely exceed the net gain from busting one grower w/ 172 planets! For goodness sakes, they're growing thousands of acres in California and the west coast legally. What do they think they are stopping? I am sure it is a lot of fun, draws media attention, and is a safe day of police work, kind of like a traffic stop for speeding at 15 over. The other real crime is hard work. Maybe try closing the border! I hope I am chosen for this guys jury...he would walk just on principle.
July 23, 2011
It was an apparent large-traffic operation, if that's what they call it, these old boys should be sent back to writing parking tickets. Come one boys let's get the REAL dope pushers off the streets. Wait a second, some of you boys are the real dope pushers.
Waste of Time & $$$
July 23, 2011
Right on KSUAlum! We spent a billion dollars to find $250K. We aren't serious about fighting illegal drugs. There's a huge industry that sells gizmos and toys to police departments. We can win the war on drugs, but as of now, we aren't serious. If the war on illegal drugs was won, the industry supplying gizmos and toys to police departments would dry up. As of now, "the industry" is very happy with our pretend war on drugs.
July 21, 2011
Helicopters, K9 units and officers for some pot plants? That operation probably cost more than the street value of the weed they destroyed. How about putting all that effort and money into fighting real crime. We've had break-ins in our neighborhood over the last couple years and very little police activity.
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